October 3rd, 2015

I was strapped to a table. The room looked sterile, white, with a bright yellowish lightbulb dangling from the ceiling. Two doorways on opposite sides of the room marked the entrance and exit points. A woman, who looked around thirty but was actually half that, sat in a chair next to me, holding a knife, a black surgical mask over her face, not saying a word. My heart was beating quickly but steadily.

I knew that this was all an act, yet it felt oddly real. That's what I would have defined as good acting. Good actors let themselves think that what they are experiencing is real. Although, our customers weren't acting, yet they were thinking that what they were experiencing was real, for the most part. Funny, how a haunted barn attraction with live human volunteers worked.

The place that I was supposedly in, according to the attraction's back story, was the OAI, an insane asylum that had its management overrun, and the inmates had formed a miniature “society.” Really, it was an old barn in the outskirts of the countryside near the place where I lived, that had multiple rooms that formed a kind of path with “inmates” in them. Paired with the barn attraction was the scary wagon ride, with essentially the same concept, just on a wagon. The whole point? Scare the living daylights out of people. And fund the charity club the place is run by, but that's secondary.

The reason as to why I was there was because the province of Ontario requires that high school students must have 40 volunteering hours in order to graduate. And, I just so happened to stumble upon sKreamers (spelling and capitalization are part of the actual attraction name), and I discovered that I could volunteer there. Seven months of waiting and a training/get-an-idea-of-what-it's-like-to-get-the-pants-scared-off-you session later, I was officially a part of the sKream (again, spelling and capitalization intentional) team.

I heard footsteps, and cleared my throat. What I did to scare people was relatively simple: If they looked at me the wrong way (which my character thought to be any eye contact whatsoever) I would ask them what they were looking at me for. The first time, normally, the second time, through gritted teeth, the third, a raise in my voice, and then I would proceed to struggle against the restraints, yelling at them that they were lucky that the restraints were there in the first place, and that I would mangle them until not even their mothers would recognize them, and that I would stab them until they were no longer able to scream. If I knew what the person's name was, I would call it out a few times. Just to add to the “shit your pants” factor. Psychopathic, I know, but my character also has a selective form of IED, or intermittent explosive disorder. Hence the seemingly violent struggle.

Then, if they decided to stick around - which didn't happen as often as I'd have liked - I would proceed to seem to calm down and ask for their help in getting me out, mentioning repeatedly that I didn't mean anything that I said. I would keep persuading them to get me out of my restraints. At that point, one of two things would happen. If they were stupid enough to take more than a step in my direction, the fifteen-going-on-thirty girl, whose character, I believe, was called the dentist or butcher, or something, would jump out of her chair, screaming like a real insane person, and that would certainly cause them to leave. Quickly. However, that had a 0.01% chance of happening. The other times, the person/group would simply leave the room running.

The first person to come into the room was a girl, about fourteen. I could see her in my peripheral vision. I started to breathe heavily, as I knew that would turn heads. Hers rotated, and I saw it out of my peripheral vision. I turned my own head and looked her straight in the eyes. A combination of recognition and fear crossed them. Recognition at my face, which looked as though I hadn't slept in days and hadn't seen sunlight in months, but it was still my face. I knew who this girl was. I had known her since grade... Well, that doesn't matter. She was a diva with a capital D, and real easy to scare the crap out of. Her nerves looked already shot, to boot. I had to fight a smile off my made up face. This would be too easy.

“What are you looking at me for, Emma?” I asked her, my face curious but suspicious. She simply raised an eyebrow.

“What are you looking at me for?” I asked again, this time through gritted teeth. She shivered slightly. She would have passed that off as the barn being cold to her friends, but I saw that she was wearing a jacket. Total BS. On the outside, I was getting slightly angry, but inside my head, I was smiling at her fear. This was beyond my first scare in this place, but this time I knew I would get a really good reaction.

“What are you looking at me for?!” I almost yelled, keeping my teeth somewhat gritted. She started making noises that sounded like a combination of sobbing, whimpering and breathing. Yet, she never took her eyes off me. This was my cue to seemingly snap.

I swear, if these things weren't here, I would have mangled you until not even your mommy recognized you, and stabbed you until you could no longer scream!” This caused her to scream pretty well as loud as our best screamers, and she bolted out the door. I let out a laugh, but I had to make it sound psychopathic. I laughed for a few seconds, then, realizing that some of my audience was starting to run out the door as well - screaming, obviously - I seemed to calm down within a second and called out to them.

“Hey! Wait!” I called out to them, seeming panicked, as the rest of the group was deciding to head out as well. “Don't go! That was my IED, I swear! Come back! Please!” But they never did come back. Once the last group member was out the door, I collapsed back on the table, waiting for the next group. I smiled to myself in my head, for achieving such a good reaction.

I knew how to play angry to induce fear. My father did it all the time, not playing, and not to traumatize me, but... Sometimes you have to learn your lesson. But I did get it from my father. Not to mention the whole “interest chart,” which, in this case, would have been making absolute sure her nerves were completely shot before going all-out crazy. Seems cheesy, but it's foolproof. Unless, of course, my victim was an absolutely stone-faced, emotionless asshat. But oh well. What are you gonna do?

I waited patiently for a few minutes, then I saw Josh, the leader for Upper Barn. I then knew that that group that had just passed was the last one of the night.

“Alright, guys, act's over. We're heading home,” he said. I was feeling half longing to scare more people, but at the same time, I knew I needed to go home. Josh undid my straps holding me to the table, and I got up, my muscles a bit stiff from lying on that cold metal table for three hours. A nightmare to some, but it was worth it to scare so many people.

The girl in the chair took off her mask and turned to me, standing up. Her name was Breanna. She was really pretty, even with a layer of cheesy “insane asylum” makeup on her face, not to mention contact lenses.

“Nice job with that last group. Even made me uneasy for a sec there,” she said with a small smile, completely ignoring the fact that she had a prop knife in her hand. The smile indicated that the act was absolutely over.

“Just uneasy?” I asked, teasing, but with a smile on my face. I usually saved my best performances for last. Not that I performed poorly on any of the other attempts.

She laughed a little. “Okay, maybe you did scare me a little. That one was really good.” Only someone with whom I volunteered would say something like that if I managed to scare them. Still, it made me feel good. I never really got the hang of scaring people anywhere past jump scares. She went to hug me, but I stopped her.

“Hey, hey, whoa, knife! Sharp, pointy things are bad for hugs!” I said, grabbing her forearm which was attached to the hand that held the knife. She smiled, and went to put the knife down. I let go of her arm so she could do this. When she turned back around, I went into her hug openly. It was a friendly hug, of course. Nothing serious.

“Real cute, lovebirds, but we better get going,” Josh interrupted us. I rolled my eyes and broke off from the hug.

About fifteen minutes later, I was waiting in the lunch room, sitting with my friend Saif, for one of my parents to arrive. They usually took about half an hour. At some point, Breanna sauntered over and sat down beside us.

“Wanna go for a walk on the trail?” she asked Saif and I. She sounded like she had done this before.

“Are we allowed?” I asked her back. Just to make sure.

“Oh, yeah. I did it all the time with my friend last year. We just have to ask, and let them know we'll be back before our parents come.”

“Alright. I'm just worried about visibility. I may have fake blood on me, but I don't want to end up with it being real blood,” I joked. They both laughed.

“Don't worry, you'll be fine. There are lights all over the place.”

“Alright.” We all stood up, and walked over to one of the guides. She said we could go, so long as we were careful and stuck to the trail.

Five minutes later, we were in the woods, talking to each other. We were all discussing the people we had scared. Saif was scaring in another section of the barn, pretending to be a deranged chemist or scientist of some sort. He seemed particularly satisfied with one particular creep out on a teenage boy.

“So I was doing my thing, you know, 'welcome to my lab, blah blah blah,' and then I see this guy, he was about our age, and I do that thing the previous guy did to you, the-” He leaned in close to my face “-You scared yet?” He backed off. “I think you know what I'm talking about.”

I nodded. He continued.

“He freaked out. Guy was whimpering like crazy, he was petrified.”

“Ha. Nice.” I slapped him on the back in a friendly way.

“Thanks. It was sure as hell better than last week, when I was a fucking plant.”

I laughed. “Really?” Saif nodded. The newbies were normally moved if they e-mailed their supervisor that they didn't like where they were stationed or their role. How he got into Barn from Trail, I'll never know.

All of a sudden, Breanna stopped short. “Guys,” she whispered. Saif and I stopped as well, and I could see a figure in my peripheral vision. I turned, and Saif took a step forward so he could see as well. I couldn't see what Breanna was looking at very clearly, so I ran a few metres over to Sparky's station (Sparky is the guy who gets shocked by an electric fence, for those who don't know) and powered on the bright green light, already aimed across the trail for maximum visibility.

The figure was a little girl, no older than eight, standing on the opposite side of the trail from Sparky's station. She wore a black top, black skirt, and grey pants. Her long hair was stringy and grey, and her face was pointing at the ground. In her right hand, she held a stuffed animal, torn and shredded. From what I could see of her arms, they were pale in the light of the lamp. We all exchanged worried looks. I cautiously walked back over to them, not taking my eyes off the girl.

“I know this place is supposed to be creepy and all, but this is giving me goosebumps. She's not even old enough to volunteer here,” Saif admitted. I nodded in agreement, and I knew that I wasn't the only one seeing it. Breanna took a few cautious steps toward the girl.

“Hey,” she said in a soft, soothing voice, the kind used to calm a crying child, “Are you okay?”

There was no answer from the little girl.

“Where are your parents?” she asked, in the same tone.

The girl looked up, but said nothing. Her eyes and cheekbones were hollow, and her face was pale. We all sported the same look, the three of us, but the girl's face was more natural. Her irises were... Unnaturally coloured, just like our contacts, but again, more natural seeming. Except this was completely unnatural. I bit my lip.

“Where do you live?” Breanna asked. “We could help get you home.”

The girl finally responded very slowly, in a groggily creepy, high pitched voice, “Ring around the rosie, a pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes, we all fall down.” As soon as she finished singing the word “down,” she collapsed on the dirt. As she was falling down, I swore I heard her whisper, “The black death-” as if she was trying to get something out, but couldn't. It looked as though she collapsed from a lack of sleep, but it was impossible to tell for sure.

That was weird, I thought. I knew that rhyme was about the black death, but - why the hell am I thinking about an extinct disease when there's a sleeping - or worse, unconscious - girl laying two feet in front of me? I asked myself inside my head.

“Should we get her to a safe house?” Breanna asked aloud first.

“I think we should see the higher-ups first,” Saif offered. That sounded like a good option. That was the rule, regardless. I told Saif to get one of the guides, and he went off. That left just me and Breanna to tend to the girl.

“This is some weird stuff,” Breanna said. I just nodded.

Five minutes later, Saif came back with one of the guides. The guide gasped. Her name was Jessica, or as the locals called her, "Chewie."

“What happened?” she asked, shocked.

Breanna simply shrugged. “We found her, asked her some questions, she sang 'Ring around the rosie' then she collapsed.”

“Didn't even mention her name,” I added.

Chewie nodded, and knelt beside the girl, asking us to back off. We did, and after a brief examination, she picked the girl up to take her to the main gathering area for the volunteers. The rest of us followed her, not saying a word.

We got back to the gathering area, receiving some shocked looks at the unconscious girl in Chewie's arms. Just then, my dad arrived to pick me up. I waved everyone goodbye, and then got in the car with him.

“Something bothering you?” he asked as I shut the door. I remained silent. “Who was that girl who was unconscious?”

“Dad, I don't want to talk about it right now.”

The drive home was silent after that, at least in the audible sense. My mind was racing, and I was sure my father's was as well.

October 7th, 2015

I've been combing the news for news of that little girl. I've found some things, but they were your average news stories, nothing of real importance. Nothing about the nursery rhyme she sang before she passed out. Nothing about her naturally unnatural eye colour, nothing. The girl was deemed to have passed out from shock, likely because of a recent injury. I didn't notice anything worse than a scratch on her, but I'm guessing it was just a cover-up for something... Less explainable.

Like I said, I found nothing. Until today. I turned on the news to find a story about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Typical. I threw the remote away, and watched the story, somewhat intrigued, but not on the level of seeing something about that little girl. Two minutes later, I grabbed the remote again and turned up the volume.

The newscaster was talking about a hospital breakout. I watched with interested eyes, as this had not happened for years, maybe decades. I felt a chill through my back; I somehow knew who they were talking about, yet I didn't want them to say it, show it or mention it in any way. But some little part in the back of my head, the one I always listened to, told me to find the information out for absolute sure. So I kept watching.

As I suspected, it was the little girl from the trail. But it wasn't the suspect that got to me in the end, it was the way it happened.

The newscaster cut to video footage at the time of the breakout. At first nothing seemed out of place, apart from the strange seeming patient, who had been wearing a hospital gown instead of her previous dark outfit. The footage was the same for a whole minute, which left me wondering if it was just a still image, but then I figured out a split-second later that CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) wouldn't show an image for that long. About ten seconds before I was going to determine the whole thing was baloney and shut the thing off, the footage showed motion. The girl's eyelids were visible, and they flicked wide open and she tensed up. When they did, the lights dimmed slightly. I shivered. The girl's eyes stayed open for a long time, not blinking. I was starting to think that she was dead, but she didn't go limp. Then she closed them again, and the lights shut off completely. I was breathing heavily at this point.

Then I heard the sound of a door opening coming from the footage, and I froze. The only indicator that the camera was even still going was a time stamp at the bottom right-hand corner. I heard the door close, and a few seconds passed with the only sound being footsteps.

“What the-” Was all whoever came through the door got out before a horrible screaming came from the TV. It wasn't overly loud, but I had my volume set pretty high. It sounded as though it had two parts, a male and a female, accompanied by several sounds of impact. The male part stopped after about five seconds of being alongside impact sounds, leaving just the female part. The female part continued, and I was sure that it was a child's scream. It went on for a while. I wanted to reach for the remote, but my fear turned my muscles to ice. Then it stopped suddenly, and I heard the sound of a door opening quickly, and running footsteps. The lights came back on, and a doctor was laying on the floor, shivering and breathing shakily. He was bruised and bloody. Other men and women rushed in, and asked him questions. He just shook his head in response to all of them, clearly horrified. The footage cut out right then. I listened to the newscaster say that all attempts at catching the girl failed, with those who attempted going insane from her screams inexplicably, or attempting to inflict self-harm, before shutting off the TV. I didn't want to listen any further.

I was afraid. What if that girl comes back? She could do anything, and whoever tried to stop her would go mad, I thought. My only hope was that the girl would find someplace else to plague.

October 10th, 2015

The whole hospital breakout thing had me panicking for a little while. I had found out that the sudden shut-off was due to a power failure in the hospital's generators, during a power outage. The cameras were running on their own power, an incredibly long-lasting battery. That's how they stayed on. However, just the generator that was powering that specific room had failed. Clearly, it was either somehow planned, or that girl was very opportunistic. Or, it was a coincidence. But something in my head told me that it wasn't.

Luckily, the panic wasn't strong enough to affect my performance this evening. Yet, there was always a tickle in my amygdala, the “fear factor” of the brain. I couldn't shake the feeling that the lights were going to shut off any second. Which is exactly what they did.

I was in the middle of scaring a small group of little boys, maybe eleven to twelve for the whole group. However, the lights cut out just as I was about to seemingly snap. I struggled as usual, screaming my “Climax threat,” as I liked to call it, but I could barely tell which way was up. I tried not to let the panic show on my face. It was nighttime, so that didn't help whatsoever. Regardless of my panicking, the darkness somehow added to the effect of fear, and I heard screaming and hurried footsteps that faded by the second. I saw the guide of the group flick on a special flashlight, that had ultraviolet lights in it. She told me to get up and out. I felt Breanna feel around me for a moment, before she got hold of one of my straps. It took a few minutes of feeling around for her to get me out completely. As soon as I was out, I put my hands over my ears.

No, no, no, please don't let it be the girl, please don't let it be the girl, please don't let it be the girl... I thought to myself, as we made our way through the dark maze of Upper Barn, flashlights in hand. I didn't want to end up like those people who tried to stop her in the hospital, gone insane for real.

Focus, I thought to myself, focus and prioritize. Get out of here first, then you can worry about the girl.

Eventually, we did find the exit without incident, and I was relieved. But my amygdala was still tickling my head. I shivered involuntarily. We were corralled into an emergency area. I was close to the outside, with only a few people blocking a portion of my view of the barn.

Just then, I saw something out of the corner of my eye, and I swore I heard the words, “Black death.” I turned my head, and I saw movement. When I went to rub my eyes to check if I was dreaming, the figure was gone. I could have sworn I saw a black skirt and top, though. I shivered again, and the fact that it was a cold night didn't help, except maybe give me an excuse for my shivering.

Suddenly, I felt a hand on my shoulder. I jumped. My thoughts were on the girl, and my mind went into a state of panic at the touch. I turned, hands up reflexively, as if I were preparing for a fight, my breathing rapid, and shaking with panic. I saw that it was only Breanna, and I lowered my hands. She looked very concerned.

“You alright? You usually get startled, but not like that,” she said.

“It's fine,” I lied to her. “Just a little on edge, is all.” This seemed to convince her.

“Alright. Do you know what happened?” she asked.

“My guess? Another power outage. I don't know what's up with the lines...”

She nodded. “Makes sense, even if it is a little weird.”

“Yeah, but it is the most likely thing.”

She nodded again.

October 24th, 2015

I decided to take a walk on the trail with Saif and Breanna again tonight. To try and get over my panic somewhat, try and get over my fear of the girl.

We were walking, and for about five minutes, everything was normal.

Until she appeared again.

I turned my head when I saw her in my peripheral vision, and she stood there. Saif and Breanna turned as well, and Breanna gasped, while Saif muttered, “Oh no. Not again.” I tried to stay calm on the outside, but on the inside I wanted to do nothing more than run away, screaming bloody murder. I was totally petrified by fear. Fear, the one thing that makes our customers run for their mothers, had me encased in its cold, icy grip. I couldn't keep the fright out of my eyes, no matter how calm I made the rest of my face. I know a look of fear better than most people that don't volunteer at sKreamers, and I knew my friends could tell that I was afraid, wanted nothing to do with this girl.

I dreaded what came next.

The girl started singing “Ring around the rosie” again, but this time she didn't collapse after finishing. Instead, she looked up, and smiled insanely.

“The black death seemed so much fun. I wish it would come back,” she said in that creepy high-pitched voice, still smiling, as though she thought what she said to be true. I was horrified, yet at that point I knew that the black death was somehow related to this girl. Somehow.

Even so, how could a child so young know about the black death, one of the worst diseases known to man, let alone say that it was fun?

Saif muttered in my ear. “Good thing it isn't coming back.”

Suddenly, as though the girl had heard Saif, a horrible, eardrum-shattering scream penetrated the air, as loud as a jetliner taking off. All three of us were forced to cover our ears, for fear of hearing damage. The protection coming from our hands offered little in the way of muffling the sound. I fell to the ground, pressing my hands into my skull, as though I was trying to crush it. I had my eyes shut tight out of instinct. About fifteen seconds passed before the decibels began to drop, and the scream sounded as though it was moving away from us. I opened my eyes, to find the girl running away. The screaming turned into crying, and soon faded into nothing as the girl ran out of earshot.

As soon as silence filled my ears, I checked around for my friends. I sat up, and they were where they were when I collapsed, except on the ground. I shook Breanna's shoulder.

“You okay?” I asked her. A voice came from behind me. Saif's.

“Well, I don't know about you, but I think my eardrums almost got shattered,” he said, rubbing his head. I nodded in agreement.

“I'm fine. Sort of,” Breanna answered. I helped her up.

“Let's get back to the meeting area,” I offered, and they accepted hurriedly, as if they were anxious to get back.

October 31st, 2015

Halloween. Greatest day of the year. Especially for me and the other two hundred some-odd volunteers at sKreamers, because we get to scare the living daylights out of people, get candy and not get patronized for being “too old” to trick or treat, and get paid respective to the amount of coupons we gave out earlier in the season. I know, I said I it was a volunteer job, but the coupon thing doesn't affect it.

I didn't think I would have been able to enjoy it, though. That girl was still bothering me. That scream... Oh, that scream...

However, when I got to sKreamers, that panic was gone. Ironically. I was focused more on scaring people at that point than getting scared myself.

I went for four straight hours without panicking, which was incredible. The exceptions were every time I heard a scream from somewhere else in the barn, which made me try to cover my ears reflexively, but I couldn't because of the table restraints. Not terribly bad, just a result of paranoia. However, when we were walking out of the place, I came across something that nearly made my heart stop.

We were walking into the next lighted room, and I saw no volunteer inmate, but the girl. And all over the floor were bodies. I threw myself against the wall. The girl's eyes were staring right into my own, smiling like a madman. It wasn't the bodies that gave me fear, it was her smile. And in her hand, she held a knife.

“Don't disagree with me, Robert. Never disagree...” she said, almost joyfully, as though the act of murder made her satisfied.

She should be in a real insane asylum, I thought, not this fake Halloween stuff. I let out a panicked sound. Something black on her arm caught my attention, and it was even worse than the knife. It was a black spot, the same kind that victims of the bubonic plague sported before death. A horrifying thought went through my head.

It's back. It's back, it's back, it's back, oh no, it's back, please don't let it be back... I don't want to die... I wasn't thinking about our more advanced medicine in Canada out of fear, fear of such a horrible disease, an extinct one - and gladly so - coming back from the plague graveyard.

“Robert?” I heard Breanna call out. “Robert! Acting time's over, bud!” Breanna was older than me by a couple of years, hence the use of the word “bud,” but I was too afraid to be annoyed at the label.

I shook my head quickly, and there was nothing in the room that was out of place. No bodies, no girl, not even a single drop of blood that wasn't there before. Phew, I thought, Just a hallucination. Wait... That's bad. Very bad, bad, bad, bad bad bad badbadbad-

“Guess it was just my imagination,” I said, getting up. Which was true, hallucinations were all part of the person's brain. I was still worried, though. Breanna gave me a frightened look, as if she realized that I wasn't acting, but she said nothing.

I had no further incidents with the girl, who I have decided to call the sKreamer (named after where I first saw her), that night. Awards were presented at the leaving ceremony, or whatever people wanted to call it, candy was given out in massive loot bags, farewells were given, wishes to see them at school or back for next fall, and everyone had their volunteer hours for the season. Pretty good way to end the day.

However, on my way home, I saw a metallic flash outside my front yard. I gave a start, but there was no metal object or anything of the sort, much less a knife. Yep. Getting paranoid, I thought.

“You okay?” my dad asked, the concern clear in his voice.

“Fine,” I lied.

“Jumping at nothing isn't fine.”

I sighed. “I'll tell you once I've got this stuff off my face.”

I got out of the car, went home, washed my face, and went straight to bed. I'm writing this at 3:00 in the morning, by the way. That's so I can write this without forcing conversation from my dad.

November 7th, 2015

I swear I need help. Over the past week, I was collapsing out of panic in the middle of the halls at school, covering my ears at random moments during class, flat out panicking when my parents weren't home, and trying to hide it when they were. All for the same reason. The girl. The sKreamer, in the hallways at school, jumping out of lockers, screaming over the PA, in my closet, my kitchen, everywhere. Coughing up blood, screaming at the top of her lungs in agony, holding a knife and a teddy bear wherever I would see her, and then I shook my head every time, and she would be gone.

My guidance counselor had arranged therapy sessions after school. I told my parents that I was part of a club that had after-school meetings.

I just hope I don't go flat out insane...

November 15th, 2015

The therapy sessions are showing no improvement. They're considering sending me to a “private institution,” which is just “don't let the patients know they're crazy” speak for a mental home. I finally told my parents, and they were horrified. Breanna and Saif are experiencing the same things, from what I heard from them.

I'm surprised I held out this long. These are possibly the last words I'll write with whatever little sanity I have left.

November 18th, 2015

They've finally done it. Sent me to a mental home. Where I belong, because the regular world is... Too scary for me. Why people enjoy scaring themselves, or letting other people scare them, I no longer understand. They don't know what fear is, what true fear is. At least here, I'm not getting strange looks for covering my ears, at random to them - which means every time the sKreamer screams, to me - and panicking as though I have a gun pointed at my head.

I've been diagnosed with a hallucinogenic variant of PTSD, mixed with chronic anxiety. My friend did a speech on PTSD in grade eight, but only now do I fully understand what that's like.

I find it kind of funny that I started out working in a fake insane asylum, and now I've landed myself in a real one, with chronic anxiety and PTSD. It almost is funny, actually. Yet the fact that it's happening to me makes it much less humourous.

One good thing has come out of this, though. Saif and Breanna are in here, too. I was so happy, when I first saw them in here. I knew I could have some help in trying to hold out the screams, and that I could help them out. We all get attacks at different points. I never imagined Saif in here, nor Breanna, and I bet that they thought the same of me. When one of us gets an attack, we all hug each other when it's done, comforting each other with empathy, because we alone understand what the sKreamer can do...

One final thing, before this journal runs out of entry space. My father came in to visit me today. He sat down beside my bed, a concerned and slightly afraid look on his face.

“How's it going?” he asked, clearly afraid for me.

I laughed a bit. “Like shit.” I laughed again. His face shifted into a grimace at the vulgarity, but he still had a look of concern in his eyes.

I suddenly stopped laughing, and grabbed his arm, looking away from his eyes. “Don't disagree with her,” I told him.

He was confused. “Who?”

I looked him dead in the eyes, trembling. “The sKreamer. Don't disagree with the sKreamer.”

He looked at me as if I'd grown two heads. “The what?”

I told him the full story, and by the end he understood. He simply nodded, horrified, and stood up.

“I hope you get well soon,” he said. It was an empty reassurance, and he knew it.

I don't think I will ever get rid of the sKreamer.

The following are samples of Robert's daily record obtained from the mental institution and Civic Hospital.

Royal Ottawa Mental Health Care: Daily Patient Record

Robert Halod

November 18th, 2035

The patient, Robert Halod, has shown no signs of improvement in twenty years. Mr. Halod shows no desire to check out, and seems happy to be in the institution. Psychologists are constantly working to relieve Mr. Halod's stresses and anxieties, without success.

Mr. Halod seems to have a recurring hallucination wherein he envisions black spots on his arms, and in some cases a little girl in dark clothing speaking to him from across the room. Or, as Mr. Halod proclaims in certain situations, screaming at him from across the room. He keeps saying that the black spots are a sign of the Black Death coming back, which as of now is untrue. The hallucinations have no effect on his physical condition. The staff are increasingly worried at Mr. Halod's condition as time passes. It is unlikely that he will recover.

Royal Ottawa Mental Health Care: Daily Patient Record

Robert Halod

November 18th, 2055

The patient, Robert Halod, is in a worrying state. Mr. Halod has developed red marks on his arms, that have been deemed by the Civic Hospital as, quote, “Not a rash, nor any other kind of allergic reaction. They seem to be caused by some sort of pathogen in his body, though it is unclear as to what it is.”

Mr. Halod is not allowed out of his room until further notice.

Royal Ottawa Mental Health Care: Daily Patient Record

Robert Halod

November 21st, 2055

The patient's state is worsening. Mr. Halod's red spots have turned black, and he is coughing blood frequently. The psychologists cannot stand to be around him, due to a horrible body odour coming from the patient. The symptoms are alarmingly similar to ones of the bubonic plague. Mr. Halod has been moved to the Civic Hospital, while under careful observation and care.

Ottawa Civic Hospital: Daily Long-Term Patient Record

Robert Halod

November 22nd, 2055

Patient lost. Last words were, “It's back. It's (censored) back.”

The pathogen in the patient's body has been found to be an advanced version of the bubonic plague, which had spawned in Cumberland, near the establishment where Proulx Farm is located. The pathogen had apparently been hiding in the patients body until it could spread again. Efforts have been initiated to find a cure, but it is uncertain as to how long the cure for the new disease will take.

Credited to Robert B.
Edits and suggestions: Holly D. 

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